Denver Post: Is artificial intelligence the next tool to fight wildfires in the West?. “With wildfires becoming bigger and more destructive as the West dries out and heats up, agencies and officials tasked with preventing and battling the blazes could soon have a new tool to add to their arsenal of prescribed burns, pick axes, chain saws and aircraft. The high-tech help could come by way of an area not normally associated with fighting wildfires: artificial intelligence. And space.”
UCLA: Web tool co-created by UCLA a veritable ‘Swiss Army knife’ for land management. This site was created to provide information about the western US. “The site, which launched Feb. 15, provides a comprehensive picture of vegetation and ground cover and can display where land is covered by sagebrush, shrubs, perennial grasses or dead plant material, as well as where it has no cover. Using machine learning, the tool can also show changes in vegetation over time and perform statistical analyses on the data to help interpret the results.”
Stateline: Western ‘Zoom Towns’ Take Aim at Short-Term Rentals. “Even before the pandemic, the destination towns of the West had a shortage of affordable housing. Limited supply, the remote nature of some of the communities, zoning restrictions and even short construction seasons all contributed. But the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated everything, including the rise of so-called Zoom towns. Freed from physical offices, suddenly people could live, work and recreate in the vacation communities of the West, with few needs beyond a high-speed internet connection to do jobs that formerly required their presence in major cities.”
Nevada Today: Wild Horses and Burros Documents Available Online. “The University Libraries recently completed work on a yearlong project to preserve documents collected and scanned by Catherine Barcomb, former administrator of the Nevada Wild Horse Commission. Donated to the Libraries in December 2019 and covering over sixty years of history, these +3,000 documents capture the complex issues that surround wild horses and burros in the American West.”
Business Insider: A major healthcare provider is suspending ‘almost all surgeries’ because nurses are swamped with treating unvaxxed people with COVID
Business Insider: A major healthcare provider is suspending ‘almost all surgeries’ because nurses are swamped with treating unvaxxed people with COVID. “More than half of the hospitals within a major healthcare system in the western US region are suspending ‘almost all surgeries’ for ‘several weeks’ due to rising COVID-19 cases. Intermountain Healthcare, a major healthcare provider whose headquarters are in Utah, announced on Friday that it would postpone ‘all non-urgent surgeries and procedures requiring a hospital admission in our trauma and community hospitals’ starting Wednesday.”
Jackson Hole News & Guide: Western Visions art ready for online perusal. “The 2021 Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival doesn’t start until Sept. 9, but the National Museum of Wildlife Art already has its 34th annual Western Visions Show and Sale hanging — at least virtually. All 140 or so paintings and sculptures for the museum’s signature FAF event, its biggest fundraiser of the year, can be viewed [online].”
Deseret News: This tool shows you the smoke forecast for Utah and the West. “The New York Times has a new tool that will help you see the forecast for wildfire smoke in the coming days. The tool — which you can find here — tracks wildfires across the West. Right now, it shows three major fires in California.” I tried opening this in an incognito window and I was not paywalled.
University of Utah: The rise of ‘Zoom Towns’ in the rural west. “When COVID-19 hit the United States, small towns near ski areas such as Park City, Utah, and Sun Valley, Idaho, experienced some of the highest per capita cases; people from around the world had brought the virus along with their skis. As the coronavirus spread, gateway communities—communities near scenic public lands, national parks, and other outdoor recreational amenities—felt acute economic pressure as the virus forced them to shut down tourist activities. Now, many gateway communities are facing an entirely new problem: a flood of remote workers fleeing big cities to ride out the pandemic, perhaps permanently.”
Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation launches online tool providing public access to water, power & environmental data
Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation launches online tool providing public access to water, power & environmental data . “The Bureau of Reclamation has launched an online tool that makes water, power and environmental data readily available to the public. The Reclamation Information Sharing Environment, also known as RISE, provides searchable data and maps in the West.”
Travel Market Report: New Website Tool Helps Tourists Navigate Regions Affected by Wildfires. “State tourism organizations in California, Oregon, and Washington have rolled out an enhanced website to provide travelers and advisors with up-to-date information about the ongoing wildfires. [The site] now includes webcams and real-time air-quality information at key destinations and multi-state itineraries to inform travelers who may decide to reroute road trips or seek more planning ideas for trips to the West Coast.”
University of Arkansas: Libraries Launch Digital Collection on American Old West. “Whiskey smuggling, murder, scandal and a ‘hanging judge’ — the latest digital exhibit from University Libraries has all this and more. The Deputy Marshal Addison Beck and Judge Isaac Parker’s Court collection is now available worldwide, free of charge. Addison Beck was a deputy marshal for the United States from 1875 to 1883 who patrolled for the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith.”
The Ancestor Hunt: Free U.S. Western States High School and College Yearbooks Online. “Yearbooks from high school or college are one of the most fun set of records for a genealogist to search. It provides you with a ton of story-like information about your ancestor’s life. What their interests were, what sports and clubs they participated in, and often some goofy snapshots of them before they settled into being an adult. And of course, you get to see what they looked like.” Big link list.